Housetraining your dog – a few steps to success

A good knowledge of the developmental stages of a dog can already help a lot in getting the little puppies housebroken quickly. It still requires attention by the dog owner to use natural processes for this puppy training. Success is easiest with the necessary understanding of big and small mishaps during the learning phase.

Housetrained in a few steps

Dogs learn their first lessons in cleanliness from birth from their mother dog. First of all, this licks feces and urine from the little bellies and bottoms. As soon as the little paws become wobbly but usable, she pushes her offspring out of the litter box for loosening (technical term for urinating and defecating). From now on the human caretaker takes over the cleaning of this area.

In a healthy puppy environment it goes out soon for all "business" in the free area – as far as available. The principle "I never soil my home" is the positive basis for the fact that the puppy gets to know the new environment after the switching also briskly as purehalten. Nevertheless, a lot of training and praise is necessary until the dog is physically and mentally able to indicate a need and hold it back long enough until the right place to release is reached.

Changeover as the biggest understanding problem for housetraining

Dog does not go to bed, not in the playpen, but always as far away as possible from the home area. This first experience poses a problem for the puppy after placement. What is where? Where does my home end, where does the allowed release area begin? In addition, there are age-related time problems, if the dog owner lacks experience with physical conditions of his four-legged newcomer.

First of all, the new environment should be puppy-proof, so that feces and urine can be removed easily. At the same time, puppy training must begin immediately upon moving in, preferably before entering the new environment, to get puppies housebroken quickly.

Use digestive cycles for promising training

The digestive cycles of puppies correspond to their stage of development. As an approximate guide, dog owners can rely on this natural sequence:

  • Puppies until about twelve weeks Detach depending on feeding conditions and environmental conditions about every two hours, in case of excitement also in between (fear or joy peeing).
  • Until the age of about four months is a loosening at least every three hours to be expected. Exceptions are food changes or stress, but now already rare.
  • At the age of at the latest six months Rich walks in the Four-hour cycle almost always off. The appropriate puppy training should be continued intensively, even if at seven months still frequent breakdowns happen between the actual walk times.

Difference in training between rural and urban environment

In a rural environment, puppies quickly understand how pleasant it is to do their "business" outdoors, such as in the nearest meadow or at the edge of the forest. Little disturbance from people and vehicles, little noise, and a calm, intensely praising dog owner encourage an understanding of right and wrong, at home and outside, and thus a desire to be housebroken as much as possible all the time.

In an urban environment, the distractions are exciting to frightening during the initial adjustment period. Keys rattle, the puppy is hurriedly carried down stairs. Outside he sits at best on a piece of grass, at worst on the sidewalk. He wants to smell, learn, experience, but should detach himself to be praised.

City noises can be so overwhelming to puppy ears that puppy training extends over a few weeks until regular successes are achieved. But again, dog owners assist the process as follows:

  • Immediate reaction to the awakening of the puppies (immediate release reflex in the beginning)
  • Walk the dog no later than 15 to 20 minutes after playtime
  • Walk the dog again one hour after other activities (including drinking and keeping the dog busy)

At any stage of success applies: The bigger the poop, the fatter the praise! This helps even sensitive puppies to concentrate on the one important task, even in a stressful walking environment. Success gradually makes dog owners more relaxed. The puppies feel this as joy and rejoice with it.

Combat anxiety release as a problem in housetraining

It can happen that already house-trained dogs suddenly make at excitement or from fear again into the dwelling. It is more likely to bring backward steps to scold or punish now. Rather, such situations can be soothed, possibly by desensitizing them with the help of a dog trainer.

Even after later regressions, the golden rule of consistent walking and extensive praise helps with proper behavior to get dogs housebroken again. Such a critical phase can be, for example, the onset of sexual maturity around six months of age or the "bully age" for male dogs around nine to twelve months of age. The more confidently and consistently the dog’s owners respond now, the more certain final success will be achieved in a short training period.

Getting adult dogs housetrained

The bitter truth is that there are many adult dogs from bad homes who have never learned the principle of housetraining. Either they were offered one of the following no-gos out of convenience, or they lived in kennels or outdoor enclosures until now, in the worst case under dog-unworthy keeping conditions.

But even these dogs gain confidence when the dog owner pays attention to small signs of body language, praises when successful on the walk and does not react to mishaps with punishment or scolding. Admittedly, this process may now take a little longer due to past history. But once such a dog has grasped the difference, it shows its joy at the newly learned skill all the more gratefully.

No gos of house training

  • Newspaper or diaper covering as a permanent release offer – dogs will misunderstand and accept the offer even in adulthood if they are in a new environment or accidentally lie on the newspaper.
  • Dog litter box – litter, hay, and thus refuse are more likely to be crushed and eaten than recognized for their proper purpose.
  • Odor-changing sprays in unclean places – the dog does not understand the purpose, and the sensitive dog nose can be damaged for life.


Getting dogs housetrained is time-consuming, but with attention and patience, in the long run, it is a first shared joy between dog and man. Even fearful or adult dogs soon understand where the home area ends and the likelihood of praise for success is greatest. Sensible dog training is the key here.

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